>   Here we go.
   The build-up to Gulf War II is complete. We've come bumbling to the starting line, but we're primed to do the ugly job of military victory.
   May victory by quick.
   When the fallout settles, the real work will begin. Helping Iraq rebuild itself (isn't it a crazy world?), restoring our fractured alliances, re-invigorating a weakened United Nations, re-establishing the United States as a symbol of peace and freedom, a symbol of what mankind can achieve, and not a symbol of a bully with the biggest stick.
   As for our wavering allies: France is seizing upon a chance to re-establish an importance it hasn't held in 70 years. Germany is a country that now basically abhors war at any level. But Canada and Mexico are also standing back from this effort. None of these countries are motivated by cowardice but by a sense that removing a petty dictator isn't worth annihilating Baghdad and killing tens of thousands of innocent people.
   But these countries didn't suffer a September 11. These countries have a higher tolerance for thugs and dictators. These countries aren't as determined to battle terrorism at its core. The US policy is that Saddam, though a petty dictator, represents such a massive threat to the West and the region that he must be removed at virtually any cost.
   The war could lead to a more peaceful Middle East, especially in light of recent positive rhetoric regarding a Palestinian state. Or it could unify the Arab world against the West and Israel and inspire years of unprecedented turmoil.
   Even the most hawkish Americans must realize there are plenty of good reasons to be against this war. Domestically, those that have taken to the streets or media outlets to denounce this war are not, by definition, un-American or un-patriotic. Many are quite the opposite. They simply believe in peace and tolerance. Thirst for war should never supersede peace and tolerance.
   May God protect the innocent and our fighting forces, inspire the Iraqi people to quick action, and continue to bless America.
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